Submit report on sero-study in Delhi by July 16, orders HC
The court’s direction came after the Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam submitted that they had collected 21,793 antibody samples from Delhi from June 27 to July 5 and had sent these to NCDC, which had not given the Covid-19 results to date.Updated: Jul 15, 2020, 06:39 IST
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to file its report on the results and analysis of antibody testing, also called sero surveillance, carried out in the national capital. It also asked the Delhi government to state the number of persons who tested negative after undergoing the antigen test and then were made to take the RT/PCR test.
A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed NCDC to place the test results before it by July 16 and said the report will include analysis of the results. They also directed the director of NCDC to be present on the next date of hearing to assist the court.
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The court’s direction came after the Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam submitted that they had collected 21,793 antibody samples from the city from June 27 to July 5 and had sent these to NCDC, which had not given the results to date.
During the hearing, Satyakam told the court that he had called the director of NCDC on Sunday, July 12. However, the official alleged that the counsel should not havemade the call and instead said that the concerned department should write to NCDC.
On this, the bench told additional solicitor general (ASG) Chetan Sharma and central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, who is representing the ministry of health, that the court would not take such kind of “red-tapeism” and asked them to ensure the NCDC director is present on the next date, July 16.
The central government counsels then said they would look into the matter and that the officer should not have spoken like that.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was asked to file an updated affidavit indicating the applications it received from private hospitals and labs in Delhi seeking authorisation to carry out the rapid antigen detection test.
The court directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit indicating the number of persons who tested negative after undergoing the antigen test and then were made to take the RT/PCR test. This was after the counsel for the petitioner, advocate Rakesh Malhotra, told the court that the latest status report of Delhi government did not state how many tested negative in the antigen test and then underwent the RT/PCR test.
In a status report filed on Tuesday, the Delhi government said that to augment testing to detect Covid-19 infections, and to make it more accessible to the general public, all the Delhi government and private hospitals have been asked to undertake point of care testing in the form of rapid antigen detection test (RADT) of eligible individuals.
The report said the antigen test would be done at all the Delhi government-run dispensaries and polyclinics on all working days, from 9 am to 12 noon.